If the Flyers wanted to find a way to move up from the fourth seed to the first seed, they were very likely going to need to sweep competition in the Round Robin. They got off to a good start with a 4-1 win over Boston on Sunday.

Heading into the second game of the three-game Round Robin on Thursday afternoon against the Washington Capitals, the Flyers are very much in control of their own destiny in many ways. Boston lost again on Wednesday to Tampa Bay, 3-2. If the Flyers can get a point against Washington, they will officially move up at least one seed and finish no lower than the third-seed in the playoffs. If they win in regulation, they can lock up a top-two seed and set up a game where the winner takes the top seed when they play again on Saturday.

But first, they have to handle the Capitals, who bring offensive firepower, solid defense and an experienced netminder to this tournament.

Game time is 4 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia FlyersGPGAPWashington CapitalsGPGAP
Michael Raffl1112Richard Panik1101
Phil Myers1101Evgeny Kuznetsov1101
Scott Laughton1101Dmitry Orlov1011
Nate Thompson1101Nicklas Backstrom1011
Travis Sanheim 1011Lars Eller1011
Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux8 Alex Ovechkin
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, +1Last 5 Games: 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, E
In the exhibition game, the top two lines handled the production. In Sunday's game against Boston, the fourth line was the driver. It could be the captain's turn to make a big contribution. Claude Giroux had an assist in the exhibition and was held without a point on Sunday.
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Alex Ovechkin had a big debut in the bubble in the exhibition with a pair of goals, then was held off the board by the Lightning. The Flyers have done a good job of keeping him quiet throughout the season, but he always needs to be accounted for on the ice.
Projected Goalie Matchup
37 Brian Elliott70 Braden Holtby
0 GP, 0-0-0, -.-- GAA, .--- SV%1 GP, 0-0-1, 1.85 GAA, .929 SV%

We already knew Brian Elliott was going to get a start at some point during the Round Robin. Given the potential magnitude of Saturday's game against Tampa, this would be the time to get Elliott into a game. Elliott has faced the Capitals twice this season, winning both starts.

Braden Holtby gets back between the pipes for the Capitals on Thursday. The veteran goalie for the Capitals made 26 saves on 28 shots in a shootout loss to the Lightning on Monday.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Left WingCenterRight Wing
28 Claude Giroux14 Sean Couturier93 Jake Voracek
21 Scott Laughton13 Kevin Hayes11 Travis Konecny
49 Joel Farabee38 Derek Grant62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
25 James van Riemsdyk44 Nate Thompson18 Tyler Pitlick
9 Ivan Provorov15 Matt Niskanen
6 Travis Sanheim5 Phil Myers
8 Robert Hagg61 Justin Braun
37 Brian Elliott79 Carter Hart

Capitals Projected Lineup

Left WingCenterRight Wing
8 Alex Ovechkin92 Evgeny Kuznetsov43 Tom Wilson
13 Jakub Vrana19 Nicklas Backstrom77 T.J. Oshie
62 Carl Hagelin72 Travis Boyd17 Ilya Kovalchuk
14 Richard Panik26 Nic Dowd21 Garnet Hathaway
4 Brenden Dillon9 Dmitry Orlov
6 Michal Kempny33 Radko Gudas
34 Jonas Siegenthaler3 Nick Jensen
70 Braden Holtby41 Vitek Vanecek

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: James van Riemsdyk and Connor Bunnaman rotated spots on the fourth line in practice on Wednesday. Alain Vigneault said he is expecting more out of van Riemsdyk, and also eluded to other changes at forward for Thursday. That leaves the possibility that van Riemsdyk may not play as a coach's decision, but it would be more likely that the demotion to the fourth line is more of the message being sent.
  • Capitals: Lars Eller will miss Thursday's game, as he has returned home for the birth of his second child. Defenseman John Carlson, who left early in the exhibition and missed the first Round Robin game, is a game-time decision for Thursday.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-18th), Capitals (T-7th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-1st), Capitals (T-23rd)
  • Recent History vs. Capitals
    • Nov. 13, 2019 - Capitals 2, Flyers 1 (F/SO) (at PHI)
    • Jan. 8, 2020 - Flyers 3, Capitals 2 (at PHI)
    • Feb. 8, 2020 - Flyers 7, Capitals 2 (at WSH)
    • March 4, 2020 - Flyers 5, Capitals 2 (at WSH)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Capitals
    • Claude Giroux - 45 GP, 22 G, 23 A, 45 P
    • Sean Couturier - 33 GP, 8 G, 15 A, 23 P
    • Jake Voracek - 39 GP, 15 G, 19 A, 34 P
    • Brian Elliott - 19 GP, 10-7-0, 3.09 GAA, .895 SV%

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia/NBCSN
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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